We've enjoyed the Ocean City, NJ beach for four years now and it has become a family favorite. The beach is clean and well guarded. The crowds are not overwhelming and the attendants are pleasant.
We've stayed at 1st Street, 11th and 20th. The first street beach area was the most crowded. 20th street the least. Swimming is permitted between green flags positioned in the sand by lifeguards and the limited "intensity" of the surf varies based on wether conditions and the tides. Lots of seaweed on this trip. Sometimes jellyfish are an issue.
Attendants perform on-beach spot-checks for beach tags. The season pass rates are better if you are planning on staying for more than a single week. On most days, attendants are seated at the beach entrances to check for or allow purchase of beach tags. $5/person.
In some areas (such as 1st street), attendants are available to rent chairs and umbrellas. They perform all of the setup at the start of the day and collection at days end.
19th Street has on-beach volleyball nets.
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